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Driver Lifestyles

Santa Drives a Punkin' Truck

By Sandy Long
Posted Dec 24th 2012 12:21PM

Many of us have laughed over the movie A Christmas Story about a young boy and his misadventures during the Christmas season.   If we were honest, most of us could write our own sequels to this movie and make millions of dollars.   Here are some of my laughable memories of Christmas past.

When I was seven or eight, I had a stepbrother who was a year and half older than me, who received a brand new 410 rifle for Christmas from his father, a sporting goods store owner and a big hunter.   He had hopes of his son becoming a good hunter too.   One night shortly after Christmas, my stepbrother was watching Broderick Crawford in the TV show Highway Patrol, then in reruns.   He got so excited during a gun battle on the show, that he pointed his brand new 410 rifle at the TV…and shot the screen out.   He had forgotten to unload the gun after his dad showing him how to load it earlier that day.   No, he did not get in too much trouble.

Our family used to have the tradition of each person having to hold up and show everyone what the gift was that they just opened and thank the giver if they were there.   My grandmother was from Germany originally; very straitlaced and frugal, so each year, she would give us kids clothing of some sort.   My brother and stepbrothers would get socks or T-shirts, however, I would always get underwear.  

That might not have been so bad, but my grandmother was stuck in the forties or earlier I think because she always got me bloomers, those long legged baggy undies women used to wear.   Can you imagine how red my face would be as a youngster holding up those bloomers for all to see?   Thankfully, when my mother would take grandma back home to Iowa, mom would exchange those bloomers for regular undies, I do not think grandma ever knew.

December is always a hard running month for the small companies I prefer, registration, bonuses and freight slump coming on all attribute to making hay while the snow flies necessary some years.   About ten years ago, working for a 25-truck company, the boss asked all of us to run a little more so he could make registration money and still give us a bonus.   Of course, I said sure and loaded to make a turn out west.   To say I was in a big hurry would be an understatement because I did not want to spend Christmas at some truck stop.

On the return trip, I was pushing over 75 mph across Nebraska on I-80 at night on dry road when I came up on a line of trucks.   I moved over to the left lane to cruise on by and as I came up along side of a Schneider truck, I noticed his dome lights were on in his mirrors.   Then I saw a flash of red and white in those mirrors so I looked over when I passed him.   Sitting there in that Punkin’ truck was Santa Claus, big white beard, red hat and all, looking out the side window smiling and waving his white gloved hand!   I gawked, I grinned and waved back.

Getting past the line of trucks, I could not really believe what I had seen so I pulled over into the right lane and slowed down enough to allow the line of trucks to go by wanting to see Santa again.   Werner went past, Swift went past, USXpress went past, an owner operator or two went past, but not one Schneider truck was to be found as the line ended.   Scratching my head, I could not think of any exits we had gone by, I could see a long ways behind me and there were no trucks on the shoulder or coming along behind.   Where in the world had that Punkin’ truck gone?   The only thing I could figure was that Santa Claus had disguised his sled and reindeer as a Punkin’ truck so I could see him that night and just flew away!

I hope that my stories have brought you a smile; it is my Christmas gift to you and yours from me and mine.   Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and ya’ll have a safe New Year!








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